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A new, ugly breed of politicians

29 Jan 2021 at 06:44hrs | Views
Recently, I was appalled to wake up to the realisation that our social media streets have reared a new and ugly breed of politicians that lack tolerance and patriotism.

The country is headed for elections in 2023 and it has become imperative that these politicians that lack merit be exposed, for the sake of our country as people are being poisoned day in and day out on social media raising the question, what makes a good politician?

In his own words, Lee Hamilton, a US expert on Congress and representative democracy wrote in his journal that, "Good politicians are able to put aside partisan differences when necessary and work for the common good. They do not see someone they disagree with as the enemy."

The statement above is quite profound, recently the country lost very high ranking politicians from the ruling Zanu-PF party, a heavy loss to the whole country for the hard work that was being done by these people towards the development of our nation.

To my utter disgust, the opposition leadership and their cronies started celebrating the death of these men and women. Does one become your enemy because you are on opposing political sides?

Does one lose sympathy because their ideology differed from the deceased? When Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the founder and former leader of the MDC-T, was sick and at home, I remember President Mnangagwa paying him a visit and offering support with hospital bills.

When he eventually died, the President again went to pay his condolences to the Tsvangirai family.

Meanwhile, when our Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo died, people such as Jonathan Moyo celebrated on their Twitter handles, some predicted that our late Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joe Biggie Matiza would be next.

Celebrating the death of fellow countrymen is an indication of a lack of Ubuntu and empathy.

The most successful politicians have integrity and they recognise the need to work with others and know that trust matters.

The current leader of the MDC-Alliance Nelson Chamisa lacks integrity as he is prone to lying every time he is given a podium. When he was holding rallies for the 2018 elections, he lied about his meeting with the ousted United States leader Donald Trump, claiming that he had been promised US$15 billion, a statement he was compelled to retract.

Humility is another rare quality to find in today's politicians, they harbour so much pride and are concerned with who is right, yet humility is concerned with what is right.

On Twitter to be exact, one of the MDC-Alliance vice president Tendai Biti was called by Zimbabwe Citizen Forum Leader, Alex Gakanje, who was making a follow up on a statement he had made on the platform. The response that Biti gave him was to call him stupid over and over again.

The audio has been making the rounds on social media. This is, however, not the first time that Biti has blown off and started shouting and calling people unprintable names. He needs serious anger management and considering that he is a politician, he should take well to criticism.

A good politician should exude respect, be able to be trusted. Respect can't be learned, purchased or acquired, the two qualities can only be earned. And it comes from your actions and thoughts towards the public.

This unfortunately is one of Nelson Chamisa's shortcomings, he has failed to attract respect as he has constantly presented with actions that display immaturity, both as an individual and as a politician.

Political maturity means forgiving, listening, engaging and patience, all of which don't answer to Chamisa's personality and those in the leadership of his party. Because of his immaturity, he has failed to join other political parties to dialogue with the ruling party under POLAD, rather preferring to whine in his corner seeking attention. He has constantly rushed back to his handlers for assistance in squeezing the people of Zimbabwe in order to make them bend to his whims.

Chamisa has not been listening to the people who are now fatigued reiterating that his urban-run councils were exposing them to water borne diseases by failing to provide clean water and sanitation.

Since taking control of the urban areas, service delivery has dropped to rock bottom levels. He has turned a deaf ear to the people's calls for him to probe the corruption that lies within the councils, which has led the current suspended Harare mayor Jacob Mafume to hand over stands to his cronies without following due processes.

The online mobilisation of people to topple a constitutionally-elected Government is an indication that he lacks patience and is willing to throw this country into chaos in order to gain power. That is not a good attribute for a leader. He has failed to rein in enthusiasm and zeal to a point of encouraging his "Twitter" supporters to be verbally abusive on social media, breeding hatred and intolerance through Twitter.

It's good that these unsavoury traits are coming out before the 2023 elections, as it will inform the electorate to cast their votes wisely for leaders that are tolerant, able to work with different types of people as has been the situation with Zanu-PF. Zimbabwe needs a leader who is affable, yet firm putting first the good of the country over personal ambitions and interests.

It is, however, unfortunate that the MDC-Alliance is characterised by politicians who major in trivialities and politics of "kudira jecha", which does not benefit the people, hence its perennial drubbing at the polls since its inception.

The question still remains; will Zimbabwe ever have a progressive opposition party that has interests of people at heart?

Only time will tell, because more than 40 years after independence, people are still waiting.

Source - the herald
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